Ruth Elizabeth Davis was born April 5, 1908, in Lowell, Massachusetts, to Ruth Augusta (Favor) and Harlow Morrell Davis, a patent attorney. Her parents divorced when she was 10. She and her sister were raised by their mother. Her early interest was dance. To Bette, dancers led a glamorous life, but then she discovered the stage, and gave up dancing for acting. To her, it presented much more of a challenge. In this article, we will talk about Bette Davis's Biography including Net Worth, Age, Birthday, Height, Weight, Family, Children etc.
Bette Davis Biography
After graduation from Cushing Academy, she was refused admittance to Eva Le Gallienne's Manhattan Civic Repertory. She enrolled in John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School and was the star pupil. She was in the off-Broadway play "The Earth Between" (1923), and her Broadway debut in 1929 was in "Broken Dishes". She also appeared in "Solid South". Late in 1930, she was hired by Universal, where she made her first film, called Bad Sister (1931). When she arrived in Hollywood, the studio representative who went to meet her train left without her because he could find no one who looked like a movie star. An official at Universal complained she had "as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville" and her performance in "Bad Sister" didn't impress.
In 1932, she signed a seven-year deal with Warner Brothers Pictures. Her first film with them was The Man Who Played God (1932). She became a star after this appearance, known as the actress that could play a variety of very strong and complex roles. More fairly successful movies followed, but it was the role of Mildred Rogers in RKO's Of Human Bondage (1934) that would give Bette major acclaim from the film critics. She had a significant number of write-in votes for the Best Actress Oscar, but didn't win. Warner Bros. felt their seven-year deal with Bette was more than justified. They had a genuine star on their hands. With this success under her belt, she began pushing for stronger and more meaningful roles. In 1935, she received her first Oscar for her role in Dangerous (1935) as Joyce Heath.
In 1936, she was suspended without pay for turning down a role that she deemed unworthy of her talent. She went to England, where she had planned to make movies, but was stopped by Warner Bros. because she was still under contract to them. They did not want her to work anywhere. Although she sued to get out of her contract, she lost. Still, they began to take her more seriously after that.
Returning after losing her lawsuit, her roles improved dramatically. In 1938, Bette received a second Academy Award win for her work in Jezebel (1938) opposite the soon-to-be-legendary Henry Fonda. The only role she didn't get that she wanted was Scarlett O'Hara in Gone with the Wind (1939). Warners wouldn't loan her to David O. Selznick unless he hired Errol Flynn to play Rhett Butler, which both Selznick and Davis thought was a terrible choice. It was rumored she had numerous affairs, among them George Brent and William Wyler, and she was married four times, three of which ended in divorce. She admitted her career always came first.
She made many successful films in the 1940s, but each picture was weaker than the last and by the time her Warner Brothers contract had ended in 1949, she had been reduced to appearing in such films as the unintentionally hilarious Beyond the Forest (1949). She made a huge comeback in 1950 when she replaced an ill Claudette Colbert in, and received an Oscar nomination for, All About Eve (1950). She worked in films through the 1950s, but her career eventually came to a standstill, and in 1961 she placed a now famous Job Wanted ad in the trade papers.
She received an Oscar nomination for her role as a demented former child star in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). This brought about a new round of super-stardom for generations of fans who were not familiar with her work. Two years later, she starred in Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964). Bette was married four times.
In 1977 she received the AFI's Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1979 she won a Best Actress Emmy for Strangers: The Story of a Mother and Daughter (1979). In 1977-78 she moved from Connecticut to Los Angeles and filmed a pilot for the series Hotel (1983), which she called Brothel. She refused to do the TV series and suffered a stroke during this time.
Her last marriage, to actor Gary Merrill, lasted ten years, longer than any of the previous three. In 1985, her daughter Barbara Davis ("B.D.") Hyman published a scandalous book about Bette called "My Mother's Keeper." Bette worked in the later 1980s in films and TV, even though a stroke had impaired her appearance and mobility. She wrote a book, "This 'N That", during her recovery from the stroke. Her last book was "Bette Davis, The Lonely Life", issued in paperback in 1990. It included an update from 1962 to 1989. She wrote the last chapter in San Sebastian, Spain.
Sadly, Bette Davis died on October 6, 1989, of metastasized breast cancer, in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France. Many of her fans refused to believe she was gone.
To know her complete profile, check the following table.
|Birth Name/Full Name||:||Ruth Elizabeth Davis|
|Nickname (s)||:||The Fourth Warner Brother,|
The First Lady of Film
|Other Name (s)||:||Betty Davis ,|
Miss Bette Davis
|Date of Birth||:||April 05, 1908|
|Birthplace||:||Lowell, Massachusetts, USA|
|Profession (s)||:||Actress ,|
Make-Up Department ,
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Bette Davis Age in 2023 and Birthday Info
In this section, we will add Bette Davis's birthday-related information. Bette Davis was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, USA on April 05, 1908.She died on in Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France (metastasized breast cancer). Check the below table for more information.
|Date of Birth||:||April 05, 1908|
|Birth Place||:||Lowell, Massachusetts, USA|
|Date of Death||:||1989-10-6|
|Death Place||:||Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine, France (metastasized breast cancer)|
|Next Birthday||:||05 April, 2024|
Bette Davis Height and Weight
Now we are going to add Bette Davis's Height (In Meter, Centi Meter, and Feet-Inches) and Weight (In Kilogram and Pounds). As weight changes frequently, we may not have the current weight of Bette Davis. The height of Bette Davis is 1.6 m. Check the below table to see in more units.
|Height in Meter||:||1.6 m.|
|Height in Centimeter||:||160 cm.|
|Height in Feet-inches||:||5'3"|
|Weight in Kilogram||:||- kg|
|Weight in Pounds||:||- lb|
Bette Davis Family (Spouse, Children, Parents, Siblings, Relatives)
In this section, we will add Bette Davis's complete family information including her martial status, husbandorwife, children, parents, relatives, and siblings.
|Spouse (s)||:||Gary Merrill (28 July 1950 - 6 July 1960) (divorced) (2 children) ,|
William Grant Sherry (30 November 1945 - 5 July 1950) (divorced) (1 child) ,
Arthur Austin Farnsworth (31 December 1940 - 25 August 1943) (his death) ,
Harmon Nelson (18 August 1932 - 6 December 1938) (divorced)
|Children (s)||:||Michael Merrill ,|
Margot Merrill ,
B. D. Hyman
|Parents (Father and Mother)||:||Ruth Favor ,|
Harlow Morrell Davis
|Relatives||:||Barbara Davis (sibling)|
Bette Davis Social Accounts (Facebbok, Instagram, Twitter, Website)
In this section, we will add Bette Davis's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and personal website.
|:||Bette Davis Facebook|
|:||Bette Davis Instagram|
|:||Bette Davis Twitter|
|Personal Website||:||Bette Davis Webiste|
Bette Davis Net Worth in 2023
Are you curious to know what was the net worth of Bette Davis at time when she died. The net worth of Bette Davis was $3 Million. We do not guarantee the net worth of Bette Davis is the exact amount. This is based on several sources on the internet.
Bette Davis Facts and Trivia
Here is the list of top facts about Bette Davis.
- While she was the star pupil at John Murray Anderson's Dramatic School in New York, another of her classmates was sent home because she was "too shy". It was predicted that this girl would never make it as an actress. The girl was Lucille Ball.
- In October 1997 she was ranked #15 in "Empire" (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
- In 1952 she was asked to perform in a musical, "Two's Company". After several grueling months of rehearsals, her health deteriorated due to osteomyelitis of the jaw and she had to leave the show several weeks after it opened. She was to repeat this process in 1974 when she rehearsed for the musical version of The Corn Is Green (1945), called "Miss Moffat", but bowed out early in the run of the show for unclear medical reasons.
- On her sarcophagus is written "She did it the hard way". She credited her writer/director from All About Eve (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz for coming up with the line.
- Suffered a stroke and had a mastectomy in 1983.
- Attended Northfield Mount Hermon High School in Norfield, MA.
- Interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, CA, just outside and to the left of the main entrance to the Court of Remembrance.
- Mother of Barbara Merrill (aka B.D. Hyman) and grandmother of J. Ashley Hyman. Marion Sherry was B.D.'s nanny until William Grant Sherry left Davis for her. B.D. had minimal contact with the Sherrys until her tell-all book on her mother, who stopped talking to her. At which time, the Sherrys reached out to B.D. and formed a bond.
- On 7/19/2001 director Steven Spielberg won the Christie's auction of her 1938 Best Actress Oscar for Jezebel (1938) for $578,000. He then gave it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
- When she learned that her new brother-in-law was a recovering alcoholic, she sent the couple a dozen cases of liquor for a wedding present.
- She was elected as first female president of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in October 1941. She resigned less then two months later, publicly declaring herself too busy to fulfill her duties as president while angrily protesting in private that the Academy had wanted her to serve as a mere figurehead.
- She considered her debut screen test for Universal Pictures to be so bad that she ran screaming from the projection room.
- Her second husband Arthur Farnsworth died after a fall on Hollywood Boulevard in which he took a blow to the head. He had shortly before banged his head on a train between Los Angeles and New England, followed by another fall down the stairway at their New Hampshire home. This is the only marriage of hers that ended in death, not divorce.
- It is said that one of her real true loves was director William Wyler but he was married and refused to leave his wife.
- In Marked Woman (1937), she is forced to testify in court after being worked over by some Mafia hoods. Disgusted with the tiny bandage supplied by the makeup department, she left the set, had her own doctor bandage her face more realistically, and refused to shoot the scene any other way.
- When she first came to Hollywood as a contract player, Universal Pictures wanted to change her name to Bettina Dawes. She informed the studio that she refused to go through life with a name that sounded like "Between the Drawers".
- Nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row,--1939-43. She shares the record for most consecutive nominations with Greer Garson.
- After the song "Bette Davis Eyes" became a hit single, she wrote letters to singer Kim Carnes and songwriters Donna Weiss and Jackie DeShannon, asking how they knew so much about her. One of the reasons she loved the song is that her grandson heard it and thought it "cool" that his grandmother had a hit song written about her.
- While touring the talk show circuit to promote What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), she told one interviewer that when she and Joan Crawford were first suggested for the leads, Warner Bros. studio head Jack L. Warner replied: "I wouldn't give a plugged nickel for either of those two old broads." Recalling the story, she laughed at her own expense. The following day, she reportedly received a telegram from Crawford: "In future, please do not refer to me as an old broad!".
- Was one of two actresses (with Faye Dunaway) to have two villainous roles ranked in the American Film Institute's 100 Years of The Greatest Heroes and Villains, as Regina Giddens in The Little Foxes (1941) at #43 and as Baby Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) at #44.
- Named #2 on The Greatest Screen Legends actress list by the American Film Institute.
- Voted the 10th Greatest Movie Star of all time by "Entertainment Weekly".
- After her first picture, she was sitting outside the office of Universal Pictures executive Carl Laemmle Jr. when she overheard him say about her, "She's got as much sex appeal as Slim Summerville. Who wants to get her at the end of the picture?".
- Attended Cushing Academy; a prep school in Ashburnham, MA. An award in her namesake is given annually to one male and one female scholar-athlete for exceptional accomplishment in both fields.
- Joan Crawford and she had feuded for years, some of it instigated by publicists and studio heads. During the making of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), Davis had a Coca-Cola machine installed on the set due to Crawford's affiliation with Pepsi (she was the widow of Pepsi's CEO). Joan got her revenge by putting weights in her pockets when Davis had to drag her across the floor during certain scenes. Crawford died in 1977, and ten years later Davis spoke more freely about her. In a 1987 interview with Bryant Gumbel, she said that Crawford acted professionally on the set since she showed up on time and knew her lines, and that the rift happened only after she campaigned against Davis, making sure she didn't win her third Oscar. That same year, she told Barbara Walters that she was hurt and angry by Crawford's actions. However, she also added that she won't tarnish Crawford's accomplishments: "She came a long way from a little girl from where she came from. This, I will never take away from her".
- Desperately wanted to win a third Best Actress Oscar for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), as three wins in the the leading category was unprecedented (Walter Brennan had won three Oscars, but all of his were in the supporting category). It was the general feeling among Academy voters was that while she was superb, the movie itself was little better than a potboiler exploitation film, the kind that doesn't deserve the recognition that an Oscar would give it.
- Each of her four husbands were Gentiles, while her friend Joan Blondell's husband Mike Todd was Jewish. Blondell called Davis' brace of husbands the "Four Skins".
- According to her August 1982 "Playboy" magazine interview, in her youth she posed nude for an artist, who carved a statue of her that was placed in a public spot in Boston, MA. After the interview appeared, Bostonians searched for the statue in vain. The statue, four dancing nymphs, was later found in the possession of a private Massachusetts collector.
- In 1975 she went to Cardiff, Wales, for a theatre tour and went to the Welsh Valleys in search of relatives--and found them. She had been learning Welsh in order to come to Wales; however, she only used the words "Nos Da" (meaning "good night") while in the country and had forgotten all the other phrases she had learned.
- She claimed to have given the Academy Award the nickname "Oscar" after her first husband, Harmon Nelson, whose middle name was Oscar, although she later withdrew that claim. Most sources say it was named by Academy librarian and eventual executive director Margaret Herrick, who thought the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar.
- Murdoch University (Western Australia) Communications Senior Lecturer Tara Brabazon, in her article "The Spectre of the Spinster: Bette Davis and the Epistemology of the Shelf," quotes the court testimony of Davis' first husband Harmon Nelson to show what a debacle her private life was. During divorce proceedings, Nelson was successful in sustaining his charge of mental cruelty by testifying that she had told him that her career was more important than her marriage. Brabazon writes that Davis, claiming she was beaten by all four of her husbands, believed that she should have remained single.
- Voted the 25th Greatest Movie Star of all time by "Premiere" magazine.
- In 1952 she accepted the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role on behalf of Kim Hunter, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
- Mentioned in the song "Industrial Disease" by Dire Straits.
- Awarded 2 Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Motion Picture at 6225 Hollywood Blvd. ; and for Television at 6335 Hollywood Blvd.
- Said that among the jokes told about her, her favorite came from impressionist Charles Pierce who, dressed as her, demanded of the audience ,"Someone give me a cigarette". When the request was granted, the performer threw it on the floor and shouted "LIT!".
- For many years, she was a popular target for impressionists but she was perplexed by the often used phrase "Pee-tah! Pee-tah! Pee-tah!". She said she had no idea who Pee-tah was and had never even met anyone by that name.
- While filming Death on the Nile (1978), aboard ship, no one was allowed his or her own dressing room, so she shared a dressing room with Angela Lansbury and Maggie Smith.
- Her performance as Margo Channing in All About Eve (1950) is ranked #5 on "Premiere" magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time in 2006.
- Declined a role in 4 for Texas (1963) (which turned out to be a big hit) to do Dead Ringer (1964) (which turned out to be a big flop).
- Described the last three decades of her life as a"my macabre period". She hated being alone at night and found growing older "terrifying".
- Had a long-running feud with Miriam Hopkins that started before they even entered films, because of jealousy. They were both stage actresses with the same company, where Hopkins had been the bigger star who first made it to Hollywood to become a star in films. They were both nominated for the Best Actress Oscar in 1935, Davis won and became the bigger star. She won her second Oscar for Jezebel (1938), which had been a flop on Broadway for Hopkins in 1933. Davis had an affair with director Anatole Litvak, who at one point was married to Hopkins, although there have been conflicting reports on whether the affair took place while he was still married to her. They competed with each other for screen time in the two films they acted in together: The Old Maid (1939) and Old Acquaintance (1943). Long after Hopkins died, the only good thing Davis said about her was that she was a good actress, but otherwise, she was a "real bitch".
- When she died, her false eyelashes were auctioned off, fetching a price of $600. Previously, she had said that her biggest secret was brown mascara.
- In an interview with Dick Cavett in 1971, she said her salary at the time she shot Jezebel (1938) was $650 a week.
- Was of English descent, and also had remote Scottish and Welsh roots. Most of her ancestors lived almost exclusively in New England since moving to the US in the 1600s, most recently in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire.
- Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume Two, 1986-1990, pages 232-235. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons (1999).
- In Italian films, she was dubbed in most cases by Lydia Simoneschi or Andreina Pagnani. Occasionally, she was also dubbed by Tina Lattanzi, Giovanna Scotto, Rina Morelli or Wanda Tettoni.
- Was offered the role of Luke's mother in Cool Hand Luke (1967), but refused it as too small. Jo Van Fleet accepted it.
- Salary for 1941, $252,333.
- Salary for 1948, $365,000.
- During her career, she reportedly did not get along with co-stars Miriam Hopkins, Susan Hayward, Celeste Holm, Faye Dunaway, and most infamously Joan Crawford.
- When she died in 1989, she reportedly left an estate valued between $600,000 and $1 million, consisting mainly of a condominium apartment she owned in West Hollywood 50% of her estate went to her son, Michael Merrill, and the remaining 50% went to her secretary and companion, Kathryn Sermak. Her daughter, Barbara Merrill aka B.D. Hyman, was left nothing due to her lurid book about life with her mother. Davis spent the majority of her wealth supporting her mother, three children, and four husbands.
- Played dual roles of twin sisters in two movies: A Stolen Life (1946) and Dead Ringer (1964).
- Was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture.
- Pictured on a 42¢ US commemorative postage stamp in the "Legends of Hollywood" series, issued 9/18/2008.
- In Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), Elizabeth Taylor does an exaggerated impression of her saying a line from Beyond the Forest (1949): "What a dump!" In an interview with Barbara Walters, Davis said that in Beyond the Forest (1949), she really did not deliver the line in such an exaggerated manner. She said it in a more subtle, low-key manner, but it has passed into legend that she said it the way Elizabeth Taylor delivered it in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). During the interview, the clip of her delivering the line in Beyond the Forest (1949) was shown to prove that she was correct. However, since people expected her to deliver the line the way Taylor had in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), she always opened her in-person, one-woman show by saying the line in a campy, exaggerated manner: "What . . . a . . . dump!!!". It always brought down the house. "I imitated the imitators", she said.
- Her father was Harlow Morrell Davis, a lawyer. Her mother was Ruth Favor. She had a sister, Barbara Davis.
- Has a street named after her in Iowa City, IA.
- Bette Davis had been nominated for Best Actress for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), which also starred Joan Crawford. If Bette had won, it would have set a record number of wins for an actress. According to the book "Bette & Joan--The Divine Feud" by Shaun Considine, the two had a lifelong mutual hatred, and a jealous Crawford actively campaigned against Davis for winning Best Actress, and even told Anne Bancroft that if Anne won and was unable to accept the Award, Joan would be happy to accept it on her behalf. According to the book on Oscar night Davis was standing in the wings of the theatre waiting to hear the name of the winner. When it was announced that Bancroft had won Best Actress for The Miracle Worker (1962), Davis felt an icy hand on her shoulder as Crawford said, "Excuse me, I have an Oscar to accept".
- Campaigned for the role of Ellie Andrews in It Happened One Night (1934), but it was eventually given to Claudette Colbert, who went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for it.
- The day when Bette Davis was born was Sunday.
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